Sport: Team GB Gallery Shooting Captain
What do you most love about your sport?
The inclusive nature of the challenges, so there is the achievement of actually being successful in the shooting discipline and there are a whole variety of disciplines that I take part in. I’ve met probably thousands over the last 30 odd years, in the UK and abroad, I shoot in Germany, I shoot in Ireland and those teams come over to the UK as well, so as I say, I’ve probably met numerous, real, good friends over that last 30 years.
What are your experiences of equality in sport?
Shooting itself is open to everybody and by everybody I mean ages, sexes, physical disability and I’ve experienced all of those in the 30 years I’ve been doing this sport. We allow children in from 11 years old, it tends to be the children come in first, but they actually bring the adults in as well. It’s relatively cheap, so that again makes it an inclusive sport, you have to invest in rearms and ammunition but you can do that as much or as little as you like. Our club itself is a community amateur sports club and within our constitution and it’s regulation that means we have to open our disciplines out to everybody without any discrimination.
There are rules that prevent unsuitable people taking part in the shooting sports, by unsuitable I mean those that maybe have served a prison sentence. However, in the years I’ve been doing this, all over the country and abroad, there isn’t, I would say, any discrimination, because of the very nature of the sport. Somebody isn’t turned away because they’re a woman or because they’re a junior, somebody isn’t turned away because of their race or religion. I’m currently captain of Great Britain, within that squad we have had two or three women out of the squad of twenty, one of out club was captain of England a couple years ago. As well as shooting against others, you’re shooting against yourself, to try and use the personal discipline to improve your shooting ability.
Do you think it’s improved or think it could be improved?
I can’t think of any area where I’ve seen discrimination that I would have changed, it really is an open sport to everybody, probably the only bar to the sport, just like any other sport where you want to perform at the highest level, is probably cost, but in terms of people’s background, gender, etc, nobody is turned away from this sport.